Tielemans stunner leads Leicester to the Holy Grail

Chelsea 0:1 Leicester City

A superb 63rd minute strike from Youri Tielemans sealed a 1-0 win against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final on Saturday. After losing four finals, City’s name was on the Cup this time round and they survived a dramatic late twist when a Wes Morgan own goal was ruled out for offside by VAR. At the 121st attempt, Leicester City finally lifted the FA CUP!

There was an inauspicious start to what turned into a glorious day, with long queues waiting in a downpour for the compulsory buses. As the fans got wetter they will have been acutely aware that Chelsea, much improved under Thomas Tuchel, were the bookies clear favourites against a City side who were looking like a punishing season had been catching up with them in recent weeks.

But with the buses arriving at Wembley around four hours before kick off, Wembley Way filled up with almost exclusively Leicester fans and the atmosphere soon began to build. For the Chelsea fans it was a much more routine affair having made it to four out of the last five finals and they were last in and, as it turned out, first out.

Across London, those pubs with outdoor facilities were rammed with fans, most of whom would be watching City in an FA Cup Final for the first time. And as the beer flowed, the confidence began to grow. With the failed ESL project still fresh in the memory it appeared that City had the backing of the nation.

Despite the reduced numbers, the noise in the Leicester end was incredible. The lucky ticket holders knew they were representing all our supporters everywhere and City were roared onto the field. Unfolding before us were the things you normally watch on the TV, ‘Abide With Me’, the National Anthem and Prince William meeting the sides.
The big team news was that Jonny Evans had been declared fit to resume directorship of City’s defence, Pérez got a starting place with Maddison on the bench, and Syston’s Luke Thomas was to start an FA Cup Final at the age of 19.

The sides kicked off under grey skies that would later produce a deluge, City in their unbeaten burgundy, and Chelsea in next season’s 60s pop art inspired curiosity.
It was Chelsea who did the early probing, twice trying to utilise Werner’s pace down the right, but his first cross was claimed by Schmeichel and the second blocked by Evans. Alonso then almost got in down the left before Fofana blocked him off. Chelsea then forced a couple of corners before City managed to go forward, but Vardy was shouldered off the ball by James.
As the rain began to pour down Rüdiger attempted a low 30-yarder that went comfortably wide.
City went forward again in the 15th minute and Castagne, beats Alonso and sent in a low cross but Vardy’s first-time shot was blocked by James.

City got another opportunity from a set-piece in the 20th minute, when a Silva handball stopped Iheanacho from going through. Tielemans free kick found Söyüncü’s head but he sent his effort over, possibly put off by a spectacular Evans overhead fresh air shot.
Three minutes later Mount found some room on the edge of the area, but his shot got a slight nick off Fofana and went narrowly wide. Werner then charged down the middle but sent a long range effort sailing well over the bar.
Chelsea got closer in the 29th minute when a chip from Silva to the far post looked destined for Azpilicueta four yards out, but a nod from Werner took it out of his path.
There was a setback for City in the 32nd minute when Evans, who had looked to be struggling for a while, had to concede defeat to his troublesome heel. Albrighton came on and Castagne dropped back. The game then got a bit fiesty with Fofana seeing yellow for a foul on Werner and then Werner was also booked for a nasty challenge on Thomas. The German’s frustration had grown when he had two shots blocked by Fofana in quick succession.
A Jorginho foul on Pérez led to Tielemans’ free kick being glanced wide by Söyüncü.
At the other end a wayward pass from Albrighton sent Werner through but he shot wide.
When Vardy nodded wide from a clever Tielemans lob a half of no shots on target was completed.
Chelsea had been the better side, but had nothing to show for it.

It was a more even start to the second half. Vardy chased a long ball forward but was beaten to it by Kepa and then a Kante cross was nodded goalwards by Alonso, but straight into Schmeichel’s hands.
City built up their first spell of pressure, with a couple of Tielemans crosses causing the Chelsea defence problems and then Rüdiger sliced an Albrighton cross out for a corner. Although the short corner was wasted, we didn’t have long to wait for one of the all-time great FA Cup Final goals.
In the 63rd minute a ball forward from James was blocked by Pérez. Thomas fed the loose ball to Tielemans, who strode forwards towards goal before launching an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner.

There were frantic scenes in the Leicester end and the expressions on the fans’ faces showed that the prospect of City winning the Cup was now frighteningly real. Chelsea’s protests that Pérez has handled when blocking the ball were waved away.
Brendan Rodgers made his second change in the 67th minute, bringing Maddison on for Iheanacho. A minute later Tuchel brought Ziyech and Chilwell on for Pulisic and Alonso. Chilwell’s every touch was booed. Fans were back at the football!
City sat back, while Chelsea probed and Schmeichel had to be smart to come out and challenge Mount. There was a break in play when Thomas and Azpilicueta clashed head and the doctors were summoned to look at the City teenager, who recovered.
Chelsea went close in the 78th minute when Kante chipped across the area and Chilwell nodded the ball towards the bottom left corner, but Schmeichel produced a superb save to touch it onto the post.
With City now all about defending Brendan Rodgers made a double change in the 82nd minute, bringing Choudhury and Morgan on for Thomas and Pérez.
City were penned into their own area as full-time slowly approached and Schmeichel produced a world class save in the 87th minute. A James ball into the area sat up nicely for Mount but his fiercely struck shot from 15 yards was somehow tipped away by Schmeichel at full stretch.
With nerves jangling and City fans watching through their fingers, it appeared for a horrible moment that Chelsea had forced the game to extra time with an 89th minute goal. Silva played a long ball into the box and Chilwell raced in behind the defence to make contact. Söyüncü cleared the ball off the line, but it bounced off Morgan and into the net. The Leicester end felt like spewing as the players lined up for the kick off, but before a VAR check was announced on the screens some fans noticed Gary Lineker gesticulating up in the studio. There was still hope.
After a truly agonising wait, VAR pronounced that Chilwell had been offside and the roar was as loud as for the goal.
City coped well in the 5 minutes of added time and the final whistle was like the sweetest music.
It was fifth time lucky for City, who had finally won an FA Cup Final.

The City players cavorted around on the pitch in stark contrast to their Chelsea counterparts standing stock still at the other end and the Leicester end was a sea of tears and bear hugs.
Kasper Schmeichel was presented with the trophy by Prince William before mayhem ensued with the trophy lift that was engulfed by silver streamers. Schmeichel, a day-glo green frenetic bundle of energy then raced down the tunnel to go and fetch Top from his solitude in the stands to join in with the celebrations.

Brendan Rodgers, having recovered from being thrown into the air by his players, commented: “It is such an amazing feeling, in particular as a British coach. I have grown up watching this all my life and to be eventually be here and be a winner in the FA Cup is special. I knew we had prepared very well. The players have shown through the season they can fight, have quality and have a desire to win. We were playing against the Champions League finalists, with quality and the level they have been at. But I thought tactically we were brilliant.”

Chelsea fans may have issue with the handball, and Chilwell’s tight offside, but City’s name was on the Cup and the football gods decided that an 89th minute Wes Morgan own goal would have been too cruel for a club and a set of fans who so desperately wanted to complete the set of League, FA Cup and League Cup.
It took one of the best goals, and best saves in FA Cup Final history.
And this was the day we did it.

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, James, Thiago Silva, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta (Hudson-Odoi 76), Kanté, Jorginho (Havertz 75), Alonso (Chilwellat 68), Ziyech, Pulisic 68), Mount, Werner (Giroudat 82).
Substitutes: Zouma, Mendy, Gilmour, Emerson.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Fofana, Evans (Albrighton 34), Söyüncü, Castagne, Tielemans, Ndidi, Thomas (Morgan 82), Pérez (Choudhury 82), Iheanacho (Maddison 67), Vardy.
Substitutes: Albrighton, Ward, Amartey, Ricardo, Mendy, Praet.
Referee: Michael Olive
r. Attendance 21,000.

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 221, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

FOX 221 – The Leicester City fanzine – in the shops now

The 221st edition of The FOX – is in the shops now, or we can post it to you…

It features: An interview with Danny Simpson who gives us the inside story on the Premier League title win; Opening Shots – our favourite photos of the month; Get With the Programme… from May 1984; Fox Diary – Sticking around in the top four and the Road to Wembley; the latest news from the Foxes Trust; Rewind – Brian in his little office in 1991; Up for the Cup. Fifth time lucky?; We bid a fond farewell to the legendary Frank Worthington; Foxed in the Head, on trips to Forest, Innyacho and Franky Wortho; The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects – Two Ton Tony; John Hutchinson on the18 goal FA Cup tie; your letters and Bentley’s Roof, and FiftySomething contracts Cup Fever…

The most fun you can have for £2.50…

Danny Simpson interview extract…

FOX: Claudio did a great job protecting the players and not talking to the media about the title all season, but you must have talked about it privately?
DS: No, we didn’t! Honestly, we were scared to. We were in our own little bubble and didn’t want to listen to all the talk. The only time we reacted was when we were getting written off and then we used that as a driving force.
We had so much confidence. We’d be waiting in the tunnel and knew that your mate in front of you and your mate behind you was right on it. We didn’t care who the team lined up next to us was. We were going to do what we do. Teams weren’t really respecting the way we played, our counter-attack, but that was great, because the more they disrespected it, the more chances we got to win games.
FOX: At what point did you personally think we could win the title?
DS: Different players might tell you different games, but the win at Manchester City was a surreal moment. We didn’t just beat them, it wasn’t a smash and grab, we actually battered them. It was a superb performance. The dressing room was very quiet afterwards, as though we were all thinking, ‘Oh. We’re actually pretty good!’
And then of course we lost at Arsenal the next week and I was red carded. I’d gone from the buzz of beating Man City on their patch, as a United fan with a lot of City relatives, to losing 2-1 at the Emirates, getting sent off, and thinking my life was over. The papers were all saying we were going to blow it and I was wondering if it was my fault.
But to answer the question, for me I think it was the West Ham game. We were 1-0 up, then 1-1, then they went ahead. We weren’t used to being behind and then Jamie Vardy got sent off. In our minds he’s missing the next game and what are we going to do without him? But then we get a penalty in the last minute and Leo calmly puts it away. That dressing room felt like we’d won the league, losing our main man and coming back from a goal down. Nothing was going to stop us now.

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 221, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Old Trafford win sees Leicester a step closer to Champions League place

Manchester United 1:2 Leicester City

City’s first win at Manchester United since 1998 gave them a vital three points towards a top four finish, with Çağlar Söyüncü’s thumping header sealing a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his side with Pérez and Thomas coming in for Maddison and Ricardo.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjær, facing three games in five days, made ten changes, presenting City with a great opportunity.
City had the best of the opening exchanges and had an early chance with Vardy attempting a heel flick onto an Albrighton cross that was just out of reach. And the visitors took the lead in spectacular style in the 10th minute. A Tielemans cross from the right was met with a superb side-footed volley from Thomas, which flew across de Gea and into the top right hand corner.
It was a great start for City but they failed to build on it and the lead only lasted 5 minutes. Amid a heavy downpour, Greenwood danced round a clutch of blue shirts before angling a low shot beyond Schmeichel’s outstretched leg.
The game settled into something of a stalemate after this, City passes were going astray and neither side could create any chances. de Gea had to scramble to tip an intended Tielemans cross over the bar and Iheanacho almost sent Vardy through, but de Gea reached the slightly over-hit pass first.
Just before the break Tielemans fired a free kick from a good position straight into the wall and the sides went in even at the break.

City picked up the pace in the second half and kept United pegged back. A Telles free kick was whipped into the near post and Greenwood’s header was blocked by Castagne, but that was a rare foray forward.
City were pressing forward constantly and Ndidi was crowded out when about to shoot. Then Tielemans slotted a ball through for Iheanacho, but de Gea smothered his shot at the near post.
All the pressure wasn’t adding up to many clear cut chances and Rodgers made a change in the 65th minute bringing Maddison on for Pérez, while Solskjær brought on Rashford and Cavani.
A minute later, City went ahead. Albrighton delivered a corner from the right and Söyüncü lost his marker, Rashford, rising to meet the ball with as thumping a header as you’ll ever see.
City continued to press forward and went close in the 73rd minute. Iheanacho swung over a cross from the right, Vardy nodded it back across goal and Tielemans attempted to reach it at the right hand post but crashed into the woodwork.
With ten minutes remaining Rodgers brought Choudhury on for Vardy to shore things up after the introduction of Bruno Fernandes. Although City were being forced back now, the defence were doing a sterling job.
In the 84th minute, Mata’s low cross went just behind Cavani. Tielemans clearance went to Fernandez, but he shanked his shot wide. A few corners were dealt with comfortably and City saw the game out well.
The final whistle signalled City’s first win at Old Trafford since Tony Cottee scored the winner 23 years ago.
It was a priceless three points to keep City ahead of the chasing pack, and also handed the Premier League title to Manchester City.
Brendan Rodgers was delighted with this confidence booster before the FA Cup Final: “I am really happy with the win and the performance. We started well and scored a really good goal. It was an amazing finish from Luke but we invited pressure by passing too slowly. If you pass the ball slowly top players press the game and they have some top players here. I am so happy for the players because we were disappointed after the last performance.”

Man United: de Gea, Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, van de Beek, Matic, Diallo (Bruno Fernandes 78), Mata, Elanga (Rashford 66). Greenwood (Cavani 66).
Substitutes: Lindelöf, Pogba, Shaw, Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana, Söyüncü, Thomas, Albrighton, Tielemans, Ndidi, Pérez (Maddison 65), Iheanacho, Vardy (Choudhury 80).
Substitutes: Ward, Amartey, Ricardo, Mendy, Praet, Fuchs, Maswanhise.
Referee: Craig Pawson.

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester’s top-four hopes dented in woeful display against Newcastle

Leicester City 2:4 Newcastle United

A desperate performance from City saw a 4-2 defeat at home to Newcastle on Friday night.

Brendan Rodgers’ plans were disrupted when Jonny Evans limped off the field during the pre-match warm-up, and City’s evening never recovered.
Albrighton was drafted in, but Evans’ organisational talents in defence were sorely missed.
City pressed forward in the opening spell. Maddison set up Tielemans for a header which went over the bar, and then fired a shot straight at Dubravka.
But Newcastle soon got into the game and there was a shot across the boughs in the 11th minute. Söyüncü tripped Wilson just outside the box and from the free-kick there were panicky scenes with a couple of shots blocked.
Three minutes later, Fofana fouled Almiron and Shelvey’s free kick picked out Fernandez who nodded narrowly wide.
And then the Magpies went close again. A wayward Castagne pass saw Newcastle charging forward and Wilson squared for Saint-Maximin whose shot was brilliantly blocked by Schmeichel.
It was no surprise when Newcastle took a 22nd minute lead. Söyüncü was ponderous in possession, and Willock robbed him before haring through to steer the ball past Schmeichel.
City had a spell of possession after that, but their passing game was not up to its usual standard with too many players having an off night. A Tielemans free kick found the head of Fofana but his effort went straight at Dubravka.

The visitors then doubled their lead in the 34th minute. Ritchie curled in a corner and Dummett met it with a thumping header from close in.
City had plenty of possession up to the break, but were lacking the drive and spark to do anything with it. Late in the half Vardy had a decent chance but tried to dink the ball over Dubravka, who punched it clear.

City looked a bit better early in the second half. Maddison sent a header over, and then saw his free kick deflected narrowly wide by Shelvey’s head. But Newcastle were content to sit on their two-goal cushion, while still carrying a threat on the break.
Brendan Rodgers brought Pérez on for Ndidi in the 62nd minute, but City soon found themselves 3-0 down.
A City move broke down on the edge of the area and Ritchie thumped a ball down the left. Castagne’s weak attempt at a pass back to Schmeichel merely rolled the ball into the path of Wilson, who rounded the City keeper with ease before firing into an empty net.
Pérez went close with a fine shot that Dubravka tipped away from the top corner, but then City were hit on the break again. Almiron sent Wilson through with a fine ball and although his first effort hit the far post, with City’s defence in disarray he had time to net the rebound from an acute angle.
City kept plugging away and did at least manage to retrieve a bit of goal difference in the last ten minutes.
In the 80th minute Vardy had the ball in the area but was surrounded by defenders. He picked out Albrighton lurking on the edge of the area who blasted a fine shot into the top right hand corner.


Seven minutes later Iheanacho guided the ball round a couple of defenders before lashing a fine shot into the bottom corner, and Newcastle may have just been feeling a little nervous.
Another goal would have made things very interesting, but the chance came and went in the second minute of added time. An Albrighton cross from the right was flicked on by Thomas, but Pérez’s acrobatic effort was blocked from point blank range by Dubravka. 

But those late goals couldn’t disguise an awful night for City.
Brendan Rodgers admitted: “Jonny Evans is the brain of our backline and when he came out of the team that was a big blow for us. However, we should still defend better. We have made it a lot harder for ourselves but it is still in our hands. We have to fight and we are a group that is together.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana, Söyüncü, Ricardo (Thomas 69), Tielemans, Ndidi (Pérez 63), Albrighton, Maddison (Mendy 77), Iheanacho, Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Amartey, Ünder, Choudhury, Praet, Fuchs.
Newcastle: Dubravka, Murphy, Krafth, Fernández, Dummett, Ritchie, Willock (S Longstaff 77), Shelvey, Almirón (Hendrick 88), Wilson, Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 84).
Substitutes: Clark, Carroll, Gayle, Lewis, Manquillo, Gillespie.
Referee: Darren England.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester held by 10-man Southampton

Southampton 1:1 Leicester City

City failed to get the better of Southampton at St Marys on Friday night, who defended stubbornly after Vestergaard’s 10th minute dismissal.

Brendan Rodgers named the same starting XI for the third consecutive game for this Friday night trip to the south coast.
Southampton had the best of the opening exchanges and had the ball in the net in the 2nd minute, but Walker-Peters was narrowly offside as he ran onto Vestergaard’s long ball forward.
In the 8th minute Minamino teed up Tella in a good position, but he scuffed his shot straight at Schmeichel.
The game changed in the 10th minute. Vestergaard miscontrolled the ball on the edge of the area and had to stretch to prevent Vardy nipping through. Although he got a clear touch on the ball, his follow through raked down Vardy’s shin. A red card seemed a bit harsh. After a couple of minutes treatment for Vardy, Maddison curled his free-kick narrowly wide of the right hand post.
Ralph Hasenhuttl replaced Tella with Salisu, to tighten the defence and – but for one foray upfield that saw Schmeichel parry a Redmond shot – the rest of the half was all about City trying to break down a packed Saints defence.
With 85% possession City stroked the ball around, but they weren’t hurting Southampton, whose defence only got a rest when Fofana was allowed his Ramadan break of a drink and a banana.
Unable to find a way through, City resorted to long range efforts, but neither Iheanacho or Maddison could trouble McCarthy.
City’s best chance of the half came in the 37th minute when Iheanacho sent Tielemans in, but his fierce shot was blocked at the near post by McCarthy.
City’s frustration grew and it was stalemate at half time.

Brendan Rodgers brought Pérez on for Fofana for the second half in an attempt to tip the balance, but the Saints continued with their dogged defence. McCarthy and his defenders continued to deal easily with all the crosses, corners and free-kicks that City delivered.
And then Southampton took the lead on the hour. Ward-Prowse made good progress down the left before being fouled by Castagne. The free-kick was cut back to Armstrong whose shot was blocked by Iheanacho’s raised arm and Robert Jones pointed to the spot. Ward-Prowse blasted the penalty home and somehow City were behind.
City pressed hard for an equaliser and Maddison and Pérez both forced McCarthy into tipping the ball over the bar with long range efforts. And they finally breached the Saints defence in the 68th minute.
A good ball from Iheanacho teed up Evans for a header from six yards and he guided it past McCarthy.
Albrighton came on for Thomas as City tried to ramp the pressure up again in search of a winner.
With ten minutes remaining Albrighton whipped over a cross towards the far post, but as Vardy looked odd-ons to nod it home Walker-Peters rushed in with a brave interception. Three minutes later Vardy swerved his way into a shooting position, but fired his close range effort straight at McCarthy.
With time running out Ndidi and Castagne both failed to hit the target from good positions and the game ended all-square.
It was definitely two points dropped for City in their bid for a Champions League place, but Brendan Rodgers reflected: “It’s a point towards where we want to go. The speed of our game wasn’t at the level until we went behind in the game. When the opposition go down to 10 men we’re normally good in those situations but you have to credit Southampton to show that resilience and to keep us out.”

Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Stephens, Minamino (Diallo 76), Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Tella (Salisu 15), Adams (N’Lundulu 90), Redmond.
Substitutes: Djenepo, Ramsay, Walcott, Forster, Ferry, Jankewitz.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Fofana (Pérez 45), Evans, Söyüncü, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas (Albrighton 68), Maddison, Iheanacho, Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Amartey, Ünder, Choudhury, Ricardo, Mendy, Praet.
Referee: Robert Jones.

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester find a way to beat Palace

Leicester City 2:1 Crystal Palace

Kelechi Iheanacho’s 80th minute goal took City a step closer to Champions League qualification as City managed to extract a win over Palace from a below par performance at the KPS on Monday night.

Brendan Rodgers opted for an unchanged starting XI, and the game got off to a lively start. Vardy got in behind the defence but had the ball knocked away from his feet by Guaita. But Palace, sixteen days rested and safe in mid-table, were also showing attacking intent.
City went close in the 11th minute when a Castagne cross evaded Iheanacho’s acrobatic attempt but fell for Vardy, whose snapshot flew over the bar. But a minute later it was the visitors who took the lead. Tielemans dwelt on the ball too long on the halfway line and was robbed by Benteke. As Palace broke upfield Eze sent Zaha in on goal and he slotted the ball past an exposed Schmeichel.
Palace sat back after taking the lead and City looked a bit off their game and struggled to find a way through.
A series of free-kicks and corners launched into the box didn’t trouble the Palace defence.

The 34th minute saw a Leicester corner met by a Leicester head at last, but Evans’ knock down was sliced well over by Söyüncü.
City’s best move of the half set up Ndidi with a chance but his side-footed effort didn’t have enough sting and was blocked by Van Aanholt. City pressed forward but the final ball was wanting and this was summed up when Thomas shanked a cross out of play.
City went down the tunnel a goal down in a game they had to win.

City looked more on their game in the second half and were soon level. In a 50th minute a Tielemans ball into the box saw Iheanacho outmuscle Kouyate before laying the ball off for Castagne. He found the top left hand corner with his first time effort, to square the game.

Palace should have regained the lead five minutes later when they broke upfield and Riedewald found himself one-on-one with Schmeichel. He opted to pass to Benteke and Evans arrived from nowhere to deny him with a fantastic challenge.
On the hour Maddison found some space on the edge of the area, but his attempted curler round Guaita didn’t catch the keeper out. Four minutes later Vardy cut in from the left and ducked between two defenders, but his low shot was blocked by the Eagles keeper.
Palace still carried a threat and an Eze corner found the head of an unmarked Benteke six yards out but his effort went straight at Schmeichel.
Brendan Rodgers made a double change in the 70th minute, with Perez and Albrighton replacing Maddison and Thomas.
Iheancho and Vardy then combined well to breach the Palace defence, but Vardy’s shot went across goal and past the far post.
With ten minutes remaining City finally took the lead. Evans long ball out of defence found Iheanacho in the area. Despite the attentions of two defenders he made room for himself before firing a fine shot into the top left hand corner. It was his 12th goal in nine games.

City missed a couple of late chances, with the strikers perhaps being a bit too selfless in front of goal. Vardy and Pérez both missing chances after being generously set up.
City saw out the game to claim a precious three points towards their Champions League aspirations.

Brendan Rodgers praised his side: “Going one behind against a Roy team, they’re super organised and tough to break down. I thought the players were outstanding. They kept the calmness and control and scored two very good goals. Scoring early into the second half definitely helps. It sets us up. It settled us. We could then control the rest of the game.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Fofana, Evans, Söyüncü, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas (Albrighton 70), Maddison, Pérez 70), Iheanacho, Vardy.
Substitutes: Albrighton, Ward, Amartey, Ünder, Choudhury, Ricardo, Mendy, Praet.
Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyaté, Dann, van Aanholt, Riedewald (Schlupp 85), Milivojevic (McCarthy 83), Eze, J Ayew (Townsend 78), Benteke, Zaha.
Substitutes: Butland, Mateta, Clyne, Batshuayi, Mitchell, Kelly.
Referee: Graham Scott.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

WBA beaten by half time as Leicester strengthen their Champions League position

Leicester City 3:0 West Bromwich Albion

City romped to a 3-0 lead in the first half against a poor West Brom side at the King Power Stadium on Thursday night.

Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his semi-final side with Thomas and Maddison in for Ricardo and Pérez.
West Brom were looking to build on recent good form that had given them hope of survival, but it soon became clear that they were going to have a bad evening. City dominated play from the early stages and should have gone ahead in the 3rd minute. Iheanacho robbed Townsend and hared towards goal, but a heavy touch showed too much of the ball to Johnstone, who smothered his effort. City retained possession but Maddison fired a shot well over.
The game continued at a frantic pace and West Brom had a chance, that was miscued by Diagne.
As play settled down City hogged possession but couldn’t find the right final ball. In the 19th minute Iheanacho cut in from the left and nutmegged Furlong, but his shot was blocked at the near post by Johnstone.
City went ahead in the 23rd minute when Tielemans produced a superb through ball that unlocked the Baggies defence. It sent Castagne in and he selflessly squared for Vardy whose composed finish ended his goal drought.

City doubled their lead just three minutes later. A Tielemans corner from the right was nodded on by Iheanacho and took a deflection before Evans’ well timed run saw him net with a thumping header.

West Brom were in disarray now, unable to keep possession, and City almost went three up in the 28th minute.
Maddison found Castagne on the right in acres of space and he strode forward before unleashing a shot that smacked squarely against the left hand post.
A rare venture forward for Albion ended with a Pereira corner brushing the crossbar, but it was game over in the 36th minute when City notched their third. Vardy raced down the right and cut inside his marker before setting Iheanacho up in the goalmouth. He added to his impressive goal tally with an almost casual finish.

As half time approached City should have gone 4-0 up, but following a great move Iheanacho lifted the ball over the bar from close in.
In time added on Albion had their first shot on target, but Schmeichel comfortably fielded Phillips’s speculative effort.

Sam Allardyce opted for damage limitation in the second half, his side had been so awful he had little option, bringing Ajayi on for Robinson.
The game now had the feel of a training exercise with City attempting to breach the red and yellow striped wall, but not busting a gut. Maddison had a shot blocked, and then at the other end Furlong had a shot blocked by his teammate Bartley, which summed up their night.
In the 71st minute Vardy had a clear run on goal but opted to try and catch Johnstone off his line from 50 yards, but he got his shot all wrong and sent it 20 yards wide.
Rodgers was taking the opportunity to rest players, bringing Albrighton on for Fofana (who was observing Ramadan), Pérez for Maddison, and then Praet for Vardy.
In the 79th minute Pérez was tripped by Bartley on the edge of the area, but Iheancho’s free-kick didn’t travel fast enough to trouble Johnstone.
The game petered out to it’s conclusion. West Brom had a chance but Ajayi sent his header wide, and City couldn’t get a fourth that would have better reflected their dominance.

Brendan Rodgers, who had hoofed a water bottle before the break, wasn’t entirely happy: “A win against anyone in the Premier League is a big win. In the first half our intensity was very good. I wasn’t so happy with our passing, too many mistakes, giving the ball away. So I wasn’t happy at half-time even though we were 3-0 up. Second half we controlled the game a little bit more. Overall it was a really good win for us.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Fofana (Albrighton 61), Evans, Söyüncü, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas, Maddison (Pérez 72), Iheanacho, Vardy (Praet 85).
Substitutes: Ward, Amartey, Ünder, Choudhury, Ricardo, Mendy.
West Brom : Johnstone, Furlong, O’Shea, Bartley, Townsend, Phillips, Yokuslu), Maitland-Niles, Robinson (Ajayi 45), Costa Pereira (Grant 73), Diagne (Robson-Kanu 61).
Substitutes: Livermore, Diangana, Gallagher, Sawyers, Peltier, Button.
Referee: Andy Madley.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Iheanacho strikes again as Leicester reach their first FA Cup Final since 1969

Leicester City 1:0 Southampton

City edged a tight semi-final at Wembley on Sunday with another FA Cup goal from Kelechi Iheancho being enough to see off Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his side with Pérez and Söyüncü in for Amartey and Praet, while Maddison started on the bench.
4,000 spectators, mostly neutrals from North London, observed a moment of silence for the Duke of Edinburgh before a cagey first half commenced.
As the two sides tested each other out the first goalmouth action came in the 4th minute, when Pérez got in down the left channel but side footed his effort well wide. Diallo was then booked for an awkward challenge on Vardy in the build up.
In the 10th minute Schmeichel got his timing right, coming out to clear as Ings almost got onto the end of a long ball from Djenepo.
The sides looked well matched and largely cancelled each other out, but City were creating more half-chances.
Vardy sent a shot straight at Forster from the edge of the area, and then City broke forward with a sweeping passing move that saw Pérez deliver a cross that was just too far ahead of Iheanacho at the far post.
City’s best chance of the half came in the 33rd minute when a superb ball from Tielemans sent Vardy in down the left, but his attempted lift over Forster drifted wide of the post.
With Söyüncü reinstalled in City’s defence they were looking very solid, and the Saints only threat came from a Ward-Prowse corner that Betrand couldn’t react to swiftly enough.
As half-time approached City won a couple of corners. Ndidi nodded one onto the roof of the net, and although the other caused a panic in the Saints defence Vardy’s header was deflected over the bar.
City had edged the first half, but the teams went down the tunnel on level terms.

Southampton began the second half with more intensity, and Söyüncü picked up a yellow card for a foul on Walker-Peters down the right. Ward-Prowse delivered a dangerous free-kick, but Vestergaard mis-timed his jump and got under the ball sending it well over.
The first goal was always going to be vital in such a tight encounter and it was City who went ahead in the 55th minute.
A Ricardo ball down the left touchline sent Vardy outpacing Bednarek, before cutting the ball back into the area. Iheanacho’s first effort was going well wide, but the ball rebounded off Vestergaard straight back to him and this time he produced a calm finish, side-footing the ball past Forster.
This provoked Southampton into action and they came back with a lively response, applying some pressure.
Brendan Rodgers reacted with his first change on the hour, bringing Albrighton on for Ricardo.
Evans stood firm to block an Adams shot and Diallo fired the loose ball well over from the edge of the area.
Ings then hesitated when he had a chance to shoot and City snuffed out the move, before a well struck volley from Diallo whizzed inches wide of the left hand post.
Maddison replaced Pérez in the 69th minute and the pressure on City’s defence began to ease. Some great work from Iheancho saw him tee up Maddison, but he lifted his shot over the bar from 15 yards. Two minutes later Maddison found some space on the edge of the area and went for goal again, but his shot went narrowly wide of the left hand post.
The Saints seemed to have run out of steam in the closing stages and their final opportunity came in time-added-on. An Evans foul on Vestergaad 40 yards out saw every Southampton player including Forster occupying City’s penalty area, but Ward-Prowse sent his free-kick straight into Schmeichel’s arms, and that was that.
The final whistle blew, and City had made it to their first FA Cup Final in 52 years.

A delighted Brendan Rodgers commented:

“It feels amazing. I thought we deserved it, the players worked so hard. Commiserations to Southampton, they are a terrific team. We got the goal which was a great piece of play by Jamie. We had two or three moments after that to close it out. When you are 1-0 up, you have to show that self-control and stay calm and we did that.
Even thought there were only 4,000 fans, it felt great. It will be amazing when we get supporters back into stadiums. I did hear some Leicester supporters in there and it was really nice.”

We can only hope that a decent number of fans will be allowed to attend the Final next month. We’ve waited a long time.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Fofana, Evans, Söyüncü, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Ricardo (Albrighton 60), Pérez (Maddison 69), Iheanacho, Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Amartey, Ünder, Choudhury, Mendy, Praet, Thomas.
Southampton: Forster, Walker-Peters (Tella 85), Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand (Salisu 85),
Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Djenepo (Walcott 73), Redmond (Adams 59), Ings.
Substitutes: McCarthy, Stephens, N’Lundulu, Ferry, Jankewitz.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh. Attendance: 4,000.

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

West Ham gain ground on Leicester amid Covid controversy

West Ham United 3:2 Leicester City

Despite a late comeback City suffered a damaging 3-2 defeat at West Ham on Sunday, with three players dropped from the squad after breaching Covid regulations…

The rumours circulating before the game that claimed several City players had breached Covid rules at a party appeared to be confirmed when the team news revealed that Maddison, Choudhury and Pérez were all missing from the squad for one of the most important games of the season.
Brendan Rodgers, who was tight-lipped over the absentees, made two changes to his side with Praet and Ricardo in for Albrighton and Pérez.
After a minute’s silence for the Duke of Edinburgh, the game kicked off and City had an early spell of possession.
Iheanacho attempted a couple of shots, but one went straight at Fabianski and one was sliced high and wide from a decent position. Iheancho then went close to setting up Vardy but Dawson intercepted.
After 20 minutes West Ham began to get into their stride and a Masuaku cross was narrowly missed by Bowen who slid into the post in a jarring collision.
At the other end Tielemans picked out Vardy with a pass but his tame shot went straight into Fabianski’s arms.
The Hammers then took a 29th minute lead. Masuaku crossed from the left and the ball passed through the goalmouth to Bowen who cut a ball back to Lingard, who curled home a superb volley from the edge of the area.
City were given a warning of West Ham’s directness on the break in the 37th minute when a City corner was cleared and the home side swiftly charged up the pitch, but Coufal’s pass got under Lingard’s feet and Schmeichel comfortably saved his shot.
It happened again a minute before the break and City were undone by a simple 80 yard ball forward form Diop, which Bowen squared for man of the moment Lingard to side foot into an empty net. All too easy.

Brendan Rodgers brought Thomas on for Amartey for the second half, but It quickly got worse for City when West Ham got their third two minutes in. A slick move involving Lingard, Soucek and Bowen sliced through City’s defence, and it already looked like game over.
West Ham soon had the ball in the net again, but VAR showed that Diop had strayed offside before heading home a Lingard cross.
In the 59th minute Rodgers brought Albrighton on for Praet and City were transformed, dominating their hosts for the rest of the game. Ndidi fired over the bar from a decent position, and Vardy failed to make anything of a good Albrighton cross, before City pulled a goal back in the 70th minute. Ricardo robbed Masuaku and prodded a ball to Iheanacho, who turned and fired past Fabianski from the edge of the area.
With West Ham having ceded a three goal lead to Arsenal in their last home game the nerves were jangling. A Tielemans shot was blocked by Noble, who injured himself in the process. Tielemans then sent Ricardo in one a one-on-one with Fabianski, but the keeper managed to touch the ball off his toes and the chance was gone.
City kept plugging away and in the first of six additional minutes Iheanacho struck again. Good work from Albrighton down the right saw him deliver a low cross which fell for Iheanacho to bundle home for his 11th goal in eleven games.
City had one last gasp chance to level from an Albrighton corner which Vardy returned from the far post, but Fofana headed narrowly wide.
The win for West Ham put them back in the top four, just a point behind City and there was no disguising a damaging defeat.
The club issued a statement while the game was in progress:

“The club has made its expectations around adherence to Covid-19 protocols abundantly clear to all its personnel.
It is extremely disappointing, therefore, to learn of a breach that had the potential to undermine the efforts of club staff to protect the environments in which our teams train and play. Appropriate measures have been taken to prevent our team bubbles being compromised.
We wholly expect our people to behave in a way that reflects the national effort and the sacrifices made by our communities to control the spread of the virus. Those involved have apologised for their poor judgement.
Our response to the matter will be concluded internally.”

The timing of this, in the most important week of the season, could not have been worse.

West Ham: Fabianski, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell (Balbuena 53), Coufal, Noble (Johnson 82), Soucek, Masuaku, Fornals, Bowen (Benrahma 84), Lingard.
Substitutes: Alves, Fredericks, Martin, Trott, Odubeko, Coventry.
Leicester : Schmeichel, Amartey (Thomas 45), Evans, Fofana, Ricardo, Tielemans, Ndidi, Praet (Albrighton 59), Castagne, Iheanacho, Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Mendy, Fuchs, Leshabela, Daley-Campbell, Tavares, Suengchitthawon.
Referee: Mike Dean.

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester swept aside as Man City march towards title

Leicester City 0:2 Manchester City

City’s defence was gradually worn down by the Champions-in-waiting with two second half goals sealing a 2-0 win for Man City at the King Power on Saturday…

Brendan Rodgers’ plans were disrupted by the news that Çağlar Söyüncü had tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty and had to remain in Istanbul. He was replaced by Amartey in the only change, while Maddison had a place on the bench.
Before the game there was a minute’s applause for Frank Worthington, sadly in front of empty stands. You can only imagine how it would have been in front of a full house.
Man City took control of the game early on and had the ball in the net after five minutes when a Fofana clearance was fired home form 30 yards by Fernandinho. But Agüero was standing in front of Schmeichel in an offside position and it was ruled out.
City were penned into their own third for much of the first half but diligent defending meant that Man City couldn’t create any clear cut chances. Agüero sent a shot well over and then De Bruyne hit the bar with a free-kick from the edge of the area after Ndidi had been harshly judged to have fouled him.
This pattern of play continued with City containing the waves of attacks, but unable to break clear.
Towards half time De Bruyne sent an effort narrowly wide and then Schmeichel blocked a Mahrez effort with his legs.
The half ended with what would have been an outrageous moment, considering the run of play. City finally managed to break upfield and Pérez threaded a ball through to Vardy who rounded Ederson and rolled the ball into the net. Sadly, he was a yard offside.

City managed a shot on target four minutes into the second half when Albrighton squared for Tielemans, but his low shot lacked the pace to trouble Ederson. Three minutes later Fernandinho was robbed by Vardy and Iheancho charged down the middle, before feeding Tielemans on his right, but Rúben Dias slid in the block his shot.
City’s defence was finally breached in the 58th minute. Schmeichel met a Mahrez shot at the near post with his fists, but Rodri returned the ball into the area where it fell for Mendy who curled home a composed finish from 12 yards.
City were forced to be a bit more adventurous now, but could create little going forward, Iheanacho firing an effort high and wide from a tight angle.
Brendan Rodgers made a double change in the 72nd minute, bringing Ricardo and Maddison on for Albrighton and Iheanacho, but the visitors continued to dominate possession and added a second in the 74th minute.
A superb ball from De Bruyne unzipped the City defence and Sterling squared for Jesus to stab home from close in.
Two minutes later another fine ball from De Bruyne sent Mahrez in behind City’s defence but he sent his effort wide of the far post.
The game got fractious at this point with some very cynical challenges from the visitors largely going unpunished by Anthony Taylor. Fernadinho and Walker both put in crunching challenges on Maddison, and Ndidi and De Bruyne were both brought off for their own good.
One of City best chances of the game came in the 85th minute when a Castagne cross was knocked down by Ricardo for Maddison, but his mis-hit shot was comfortably saved by Ederson.
It was a routine win for Manchester City, as they close in on the title. Although there is no shame in losing to what might be the best club side in the world there was a feeling that City hadn’t really done themselves justice.

Brendan Rodgers admitted: “For the first hour, we were solid and defensively strong but not as efficient with the ball. We’re disappointed with the goals, we got disorganised. We lost to the better team. The players kept going and we had some good chances but we can have no complaints.”

Leicester : Schmeichel, Amartey, Evans, Fofana, Albrighton (Ricardo 71), Tielemans, Ndidi (Mendy 83), Pérez, Castagne, Iheanacho (Maddison 72), Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Choudhury, Praet, Thomas, Daley-Campbell, Suengchitthawon.
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Rúben Dias, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho, Rodri, Mahrez (Torres 79), De Bruyne (Foden 88), Jesus, Agüero (Sterling 63).
Substitutes: Stones, Aké, Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, Cancelo, Carson.
Referee: Anthony Taylor

__________________________________________________

It’s not too late to subscribe to The FOX for the 2020/21 season.

You will receive all the issues to date in the post, and then the rest of the season’s issues on publication date.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX 220, the latest issue, on its own HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized